Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Places I'm Visiting: Skiing at Lake Tahoe (January 18, 2011)

Got back from skiing last night at Lake Tahoe. It was unseasonably warm, the snow slushy, the sun merciless. It was fun nevertheless. I got in two good days of skiing. Went to Sugar Bowl for the first time. I rather liked it. I'd like to ski there again. There's a lot of the upper intermediate/expert terrain I like and it's less expensive than places like Squaw Valley.

The resort is a stone's throw from Donner Lake and the Donner Pass. On the way home, we stopped at the monument marking one of the Donner Party camps. Above the monument and the lake, at the summit of the pass, is an excellent view of the area that trapped the group. After rescue, the survivors climbed up the rocks that were at my feet when I took the photo below. A fabulous sunset followed this. At a local bookstore, I picked up a copy of Desperate Passage (Ethan Rarick, Oxford University Press, 2008), which looks like a good account of the tragedy. On the wall of my mother's house there hangs a small drawing of a bird in a red frame by Tamsin Donner--a direct descendant of the original Tamzene Donner, wife of George Donner, one of the leaders of the ill-fated group.

[Update: After writing this post, I read and reviewed Ethan Rarick's excellent book about the Donner Party and its ordeal, Desperate Passage.]

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